Do you think that parking lots are boring? If your answer to this question is, “Yes,” then think again. If you want to have clients flock to your place of business, your parking lot lighting should provide an inviting vibe. You should also provide a safe and appealing parking lot. To do all that, you have to maintain and update your parking area’s lighting system.
The best example of a business maintaining great a lighting system would be a car dealership. This is because great lighting on their lots would attract potential buyers. To invest in great parking lot lighting would be beneficial as more buyers could browse the car dealership’s inventory safely during nighttime.
When you do need to upgrade your lighting system, it’s not as simple as setting up your ladder and screwing in bulbs. There are a lot of factors to consider when upgrading your lighting system. We’re here to help you figure out which lighting system is best for you and how to install them.
Is There A Need To Upgrade?
Most property managers and owners have decided to make a move towards upgrading their exterior lighting systems. And they have a lot of good reasons as to why they are upgrading their lighting system. When asking FSG Indy’s Hunter Kasten why there’s a need to upgrade your parking lot lighting system, there are three reasons. First is security. If your parking lot area is well-lit, you provide a safe environment for your customers and employees.
Second reason is a reduction in energy. This may be the strongest argument for switching over to a new lighting system. Technological advancements has created ways for newer lighting systems to generate quality lighting for less energy consumption. This leads to a faster turnaround for getting your initial investment for upgrading your lighting system.
Last reason is a reduction in maintenance cost. Most businesses sometimes may or may not set aside funding for annual repairs for parking lot lights. Because of this, if you’re talking about being able to save on costs for actual repair and maintenance, it may be quite difficult to wrap your head around that. When you’re able to choose a great partner for your lighting needs, you basically are going to see a return on your initial investment faster than you expect.
How Do I Approach The Layout or Design for My Parking Lot Lighting?
Really? It is essential to think about a layout or design for my parking lot lights? Definitely! Well, we’re not talking about putting in multi-colored lights or placing fancy bulbs randomly around your lot. We’re talking about preparing your lot. Basically planning which light would provide your lot the best quality of light and where will you need to place these lights. This process will provide you with maximum lighting output and allow you to save on cost.
First things first. You’ll have to set out a plan. Take a quick look around your parking lot. Note the existing infrastructure and adjoining lots. You’ll have to take down the number of lights, the type of lights and the actual height of the existing fixtures. When you’re accounting for lights, be mindful of what type of light is being used and in which particular area. For example, lights located at the extreme end of your lots would be very different from those that are placed near the entrance of your place of business.
Next step, look at your vicinity and the businesses and or facilities present. Yes, you want to have a lot of lights to illuminate your lot, but you’ll have to consider what’s the best type of light for say a business district versus a car dealership lot. Using a lot of lights doesn’t equate to having better lighting in most cases. This is because if you have too much light you can contribute to light pollution and create too much glare that would not be well received by the surrounding community.
Look at other parking lots that have the same size as yours. Take note of what type of lights they use, how many lights they use and how or where they position their lights. Placement of your lights is essential when creating your lighting layout.
You should also know approximately how big your parking lot is in square footage. This is so you’ll know what lumens will be required to light up your lot properly. The lumens will be your indicator of how bright your lights are. It’s what you should be looking at instead of wattage.
Lastly, when you’re actually creating the actual layout of your parking lot lighting, you might want to consider adding some lighting controls. Some parking lots use their lights for about 12 hours. Adding some controls to automatically turn on and off your lights at specific times or situations will help out a lot. You’ll be able to also reduce lumens with certain controls. These controls will help in reducing your overall energy consumption.
What Municipal Standards Should I Be Aware Of?
Businesses are always for upgrading their parking lot lights. But it’s not always the easiest process to do. Some municipalities in the US have certain requirements and guidelines that businesses have to comply with when it comes to parking lot lights. Requirements such as the height of your lighting fixture, the brightness level of your lights and the allowable time your lights should be turned on and off should be considered.
You can always go and ask your municipality what requirements they have with parking lot lights. There are departments which typically deal with this type of concern. Let them know that you’re planning on upgrading your parking lot lights and would like to know the proper process to make the transition on the municipal level.
The municipality has a board that reviews proposals for lighting upgrades. They will provide you with advice you need for your upgrade. The usual questions they will ask you would be what type of lights will you be using, the number of lights will you be using, what lumen output each light will produce, the square footage of your property and what would be your foot-candle distribution?
Some codes are quite vague. It can be quite a headache to deal with. That’s why it’s best to employ the help of professional lighting experts. For good lighting experts, deciphering the municipal codes won’t be hard. They would know which lights would meet your requirements and meet the municipality’s standards. Just be sure to ask your contractors about your municipal codes before you do any retrofitting or installation.
What is a foot-candle? Basically, a foot-candle it’s a standard unit that is used to measure how much light illuminates a surface. This measurement is very important because of imposed municipality requirements for parking lot lights. Don’t forget, it is quite easy to overlook lighting. Imagine not having enough light in your parking lot. This could mean it would be susceptible to crime. Your customers would be wary in walking from your parking lot to your business.
A great contractor will be able to help you out with foot-candles. They have the correct tools for the job. Contractors will be able to do a photometry for your parking lot. This is important for any lighting project you will embark on. You’ll be up to date with municipal codes and ensure that you’re providing the right parking lot lighting for your clients.